After spending Christmas all together at the end of 2015, we began the New Year 2016 together alone for the first time ever, and then spent the day with our community in Gfoehl and lunch in an Indian restaurant in Krems/Stein. On the 3rd January we drove to Zwettl to visit Regina, Josef’s sister, in her new flat driving through the snowy countryside. To follow what I’m doing, visit my blog and/or my YouTube Channel. I continue attending the Toastmasters meetings at the UN in Vienna, the Vienna International Centre (VIC), supporting the club activities as Vice President Education until the end of June. On Thursday 14th January 2016 I made a spontaneous presentation at the request of my colleagues, about Toastmasters at our evening out from work. On Saturday 16th January 2016, Josef and I attended a conference in Trumau at the International Theological Institute (IT) and the Institute for Marriage and Family (IEF) on Marriage as original sacrament, vocation and commission. We met the Catholic bishop for the family, as well as many others, and participated in the group about marriage as a sacrament.The example given about the wood stove (Kachelofen in the video), was from Josef. Josef knew some of the participants from the conference he attended in Ireland. Josef and I were invited to a birthday party from a UN colleague from Toastmasters. Nicole’s 60th birthday included Tango lessons for all. It was a great night out. Empty Nest Syndrome? Sometimes I write articles on my private blog which may be published later. Josef staged various events for the Family Forum in Graz and Linz. 23 January 2016 Johannes Stampf, Josephine Papst, Bogdan Pammer, Gregor Hauseder at Philosophy and Life Graz. Josef spoke on “Mature Parenthood as Human Destiny“ (Reife Elternschaft als menschliches Bestimmung). I noticed one day on my way to work that I see the UN from the train and began religiously filming to catch the sunrise over the VIC. Saturday 30 Jan 2016 I have been taking LifePlus supplements for a number of years and began a metabolic course with support of vitamins from LifePlus.
2 February Antony, a colleague from Toastmasters left for Washington DC to the IMF. Farewell dear Antony. On 3 February 2016 I attended and filmed the WIN-IAEA meeting with Women Without Borders. Edith Schlaffer initiated schools for mothers to prevent radicalization of children. Shortly afterwards she was on the news after the Brussels bombing where she had been holding a seminar. Godwin, Christoph and Timi visited me at the UN a few times throughout the year. Some of my colleagues go drinking at the bar which they call the Library. I go there too, but mostly to meet with my kids or friends. On 7 February we went to Maissau and visited the Amethyst world. On 9 I attended a conference, the Staff Association Retreat, at Kahlenberg the Vienna local hill with view to Schneeberg, as the Staff Association Representative.
12 March 2016 Josef was invited by WFWP Linz to a meeting on Gender Gaga, 27 March 2016 Andi has been visiting with Francesca and she came to the CARP workshop in Gaflenz. 31 March 2016 for Francesca’s birthday, we took her to the Vinothek in Kirchberg and had a delicious meal. Sometimes we have a lovely view from our balcony of Schneeberg, Josef started preparing balcony boxes. Josef got a new camera for his birthday, and decided on a Single Lense Reflex (SLR) afterall.
2 April 2016 While Francesca was visiting we all went back to Zwettl to visit with Regina, Took a photo of Andi and Timi in front of their kindergarten when we went for a walk through town. At Regina’s we played Dobble, a card game. We took Francesca to the Candle Factory, where Rita Streibl gave her a tour in Italian. Rita knew Francesca’s mother, and knows her father. 7 April 2016 Josef and I spent a surprise luxury weekend at Hotel Stekl nad Hluboka on our way to Prague for a weekend conference. There was a WFWP event at the UN on 14 April 2016. I came after work and then joined the participants at Korea House for dinner. Happy Birthday Christoph. The UN SG Ban KiMoon was in Vienna and visited the VIC on 27 April.
On 8 May 2016 for Mothers Day the family invited me to the Lainzer Tiergarten where we had a lovely walk and lunch and then a picnic and lots of talking together. Christoph, Josef and I went to a performance of Wonderboys. Highly recommend it.
In June, which is summer in Austria, due to some uncertainty about my job after October, I thought I better use the opportunity while I am still working and decided to take Josef to Australia for a tropical holiday. It was winter in Melbourne where we spent a week, visiting my mother, my primary school and my high school, culminating in my High School Reunion at what used to be St Albans High School. I wrote a few blog articles. In Queensland, I decided on Port Douglas on recommendation of a colleague from the Agency who assured me that it is warm there, even when it is winter. We had an incredible time, saw a 350 kg crocodile in the Daintree River Region, saw the beautiful illusive blue butterfly, collected coconuts on the beach and visited various places I had gone camping with my family years before. Also wrote and posted numerous Blog articles. One day we took a Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, went snorkeling in wet suits and toured in a semi-submersible glass sided boat. The week flew by and we were back home in Melbourne for a few days. I found the old 8mm projector and copied some of the old holiday films. Photo of Mum’s office, conversion equipment to digital film. Back in Austria, we had a barbeque in the garden and the kids gave me a selfie stick for my birthday.
2 August My nephew, Ambrose, came from Australia, after attending the World Youth Week in Poland with the Pope and visited me at the UN. In the evening he went to the fun park, the Prater, with my sons. 6 August I met with my girlfriend, Diana as I try to do once a month. We go to Merkur and have breakfast in the cafeteria. We sometimes went to the new shopping centre, Mariandl. 8 August We visited Maria, Josef’s sister and Regina his other sister was there, Francesca came too.
1 October Josef and I attended the Museum Night (Lange Nacht der Museen) in Lower Austria while our sons visited museums in Vienna. 16 We received a certificate in gratitude for our investment as pastors of our community in Gfoehl 1999-2014. 23 October Schoenbrunn. A few days before my 10th contract at the IAEA, after seven years of service as temporary assistance, expired, I appreciated UN Staff Day Cup which was handed out on 26 October 2016. So on 31 October, it was farewell NSNS (Division of Nuclear Security) and I am a UN pensioner.
In November I began dedicating more time to my blog and trying to boost my daily sleep to seven hours. (I usually find five hours are my minimum and six are enough for regular activities.) Josef is very busy with his Family Forum activities, and as his major sponsor and Vice-President, I try to attend his meetings. On 6 November we met the boys and took a family photo in Café Ritter. On 8 November we met in Nathan’s flat before Timi took it over and we all went to the airport to farewell Nathan to Australia on 10 Nov when we had the first snow on the tree. Josef came with me to Bratislava on 18 November for a WFWP European conference and filmed most of the presentations which I could then upload to the homepage (www.herzundhand.at). We were also interviewed for live-streaming to FaceBook. I also presented about Toastmasters as a support for public speaking. In Vienna, I was invited to represent a career woman with children at a meeting where a local politician, Gundrun Kugler said: Values have turned upside down compared to earlier. A married woman used to be respected. 26 November we were visited by a young friend travelling around Europe from California. We took him to the Rosenburg Castle where we saw the falconry show and also shook hands with the governor of Lower Austria. In November I finally committed to work on editing the book Lebensraum Ewigkeit and met with the author, Johannes Stamp a number of times to work over the text and corrections.
3 December Christoph sang in the Hofburg, Josef and I went and Christoph also invited colleagues from the Red Cross in Kirchberg, where he has continued doing voluntary service every month. 24 December 2016 we sang Happy Birthday for Timi before our Christmas celebration. Regina and Maria came on Christmas Day after Godwin, Christoph and Timi went to the Hofburg for the morning mass. We played a card game and the kids went onto the Wagram plateau with their sparkling wonder candles. 30 December 2016 Josef and I went to a spa for a day at the end of December. It was freezing cold, foggy and eventually the sun came out. The country-side was simply enchantingly beautiful. 31 December 2016 and the year finished just like last year, we celebrated with Maresi and family, then were alone at midnight for the fireworks.